The blessed mourner


Life has never been so overwhelming for me. I had encountered hardship and pain before, but this was one of a kind. There were days when I sat in silence and just did not know what to say anymore; I was puzzled and confused. How can so many hurtful things all happen at once, and why in this way?

The journey commenced in January 2015 when the Lord spoke to me and told me to urgently go to Uganda to pray for my grandmother. At first I doubted my hearing, especially since my grandmother was of a different faith. However, my prayer partner received the same revelation and said she would also accompany me on the journey.

So in April 2015, I went to Uganda. We asked my 87-year-old grandmother if she was receptive to us praying for her and she agreed. We laid our hands on her, prayed for her and her salvation. She was so grateful and asked when we would come back and pray for her. That was the last time I saw her. She passed away in December 2015.

Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015
Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015


I was shocked as I did not have an incline that she would pass, let alone that the significance of the prayer and that it would usher her into heaven. It really taught me that when God calls you to move and do something, you have to act instantly- no hesitation or doubt. I was really distraught by her death and as she passed away a few days before Christmas and my arrival in Uganda, it was a sombre mourning festive season.


It was during this trip that I got my hearts desire to pray for John, a minister who spiritually guided me over the years (read blog post – Discerning the season). He was a man of God who I looked up to, who believed one-day God would use me and wanted to see its manifestation. He suddenly passed away in July 2016. It was very devastating and painful. For days, I would stay awake at night wondering if this was really happening. I just didn’t understand how someone who had just started such a huge ministry passed away so suddenly.

Minister and close friend, John Baptist Mukajanga

During this time of mourning, is when I found out my cousin, brother and friend Hamim had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t even know if the word “shocked” can sum up how I felt when I got the news. Is this really all happening at once? How can a fit, athletic, non-smoker, 29-year-old have lung cancer?

I found myself for the next few weeks going to the hospital almost daily to see him, to try and encourage him. The good thing is that he had a lot of friends around him and a big family support. I continued to ask God to heal him and for his salvation (as he was of another faith) but he became worse every day. Within weeks, he went from being a healthy athlete to being unable to talk and eat. It was heart breaking. It was during this time that I went on a prebooked holiday to Uganda. Days after arriving in Uganda is when he passed away. This was August 2016. I just couldn’t believe that another close person had passed away within the space of weeks.

With my cousin, brother and friend Hamim

The pain became unbearable- I could feel the physical heart ache. This lead to panic attacks and depression. Depression is a silent killer which brought along old bad habits/sins, confusion and disconnecting me from the Lord. I stopped hearing and dreaming and was unable to pray. The spirit of fear had taken over and I was unable to sleep at night. I allowed the pain to consume me, and that was a mistake I made. However, at this time, I no longer knew how to deal with it or what to do anymore.

A week after my return from Uganda, my mum woke me up at 6 am. She initially asked me how I slept and if I was okay. I said yes. It was at that time that she informed me that my other grandmother had passed away. This was a lady I had seen the previous week before my return to London. She was fit, healthy and jolly and there was no sign that it would be the last time I would see her. At this moment, I felt like bad news had become the norm of my life. As I continued to suffer from anxiety, I went back to old habits and sins. I felt trapped in a box.

Last time I saw my grandmother, August 2016

During this time, people would still send me their prayer requests and would ask me when I was next posting a post on Pearl Sisters. But I thought to myself, “How can I encourage some else when I need encouragement myself?”


As much as people told me I was going to be “alright” and “get through it”, the times when I was alone in my bed  were when the real manifestation of emotions occurred. It was at this stage that I realised that only God was going to get me through and strengthen me.

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that this was for a season (read the blog post Discerning the season), and this season would pass. I started to discern the tricks the enemy was using to destroy me and my ministry, and knew I needed to stand firm. So I took a step back from ministry to focus on myself, my healing and deliverance.  I knew I needed to continue, to encourage someone that everything will be okay.

I want to encourage you today that regardless of what you are going through, you will get through it alive and in one piece. We all go through stages in life where it is so difficult, painful and sorrowful. But this is the time you need to hold unto God the most. He is the only one who can restore and repair and there is always a great lesson to be learnt. It is okay sometimes to take a step back and reflect, seek God for direction and focus on yourself. Take your time, there is no rush. God has seen every tear, pain, and sadness and it is His will for your to be joyful. Take courage.

In memory of Jajja Namutebi, Jajja Namazzi, JB and Hamim xxx


26 thoughts on “The blessed mourner”

  1. I’m so sorry for all your losses. Trusting God, we know He is over all, but that doesn’t fill the empty place at the table. They aren’t so far away, but they’re too far to hug and see their smiling face and hear their words of encouragement, to share words of love. May you feel God’s loving arms around you, comforting you, knowing that even though to Him this life is but a small moment and you’ll be with your loved ones again soon, He mourns with you, for your sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God uses even our grief, pain and sorrow – may others who are going through a difficult time take to heart what you wrote. It is a beautiful piece about “beauty out of ashes”. I am one of many who suffered and indeed God’s beauty rose high and bright out of my ashes (my grief). May God continue to bless you with His Light to always guide you, comfort you and bring you eternal joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God bless you Vanessa. I came across this blog today by the grace of God I am sure. I am so sorry for all of your recent losses. Your incredible story touched my heart. I was reading the first chapter of Job today and your life somewhat replicates Job’s struggles and like Job, you praise God. Thank you for a most beautiful example of following Jesus. May all your friends and family rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this. And for taking time to take care of yourself. I lost my grandfather in December 2015 and then my grandmother in August 2016 and have been battling some health issues for months. I too believe it’s a season! Soon friend we will begin a new one! Praying for you through this season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. At times as christians we think we are alone and the only ones going through something. However the more we share, we find out we are not alone and need to encourage eachother. Thanks again for the upliftment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and testimony. It was truly a blessing. The more l read, the more l felt as if God wanted you to share this because for some reason, I needed to hear all of this because it better helps me understand my assignment within my purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This really spoke to me as it reminded me of a similar season between 2013 and 2014 I lost 3 very close family members and a friend all in a space of 9 months, two of them to cancer (which I might add they both died within a few months of diagnosis). The pain was unbearable. Some days felt like I could not breathe and like you too people would ask me to pray for them, how could I when I couldn’t even pray for myself? I was angry, bitter and depressed. Getting out of bed was hard, I stopped going to church if God was so good why was I in so much pain I asked? Here I am in 2016 my heart healed. Yes I will always miss my loved ones BUT God is a mender of broken hearts.

    I want to encourage you that in the moments when the pain seems difficult to handle just worship God. Two songs that got me through that season were Still by Hillsong and You Are For Me by Kari Jobe. I had to learn through all that pain to be still and know that His God and that He is always for me. So Vee, be still and know that He is God and that He is ALWAYS for you. I will be praying for you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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